“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it
to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
Matthew 25:40 (English Standard Version)
If I could characterize my Thursday by one word, it would be this: STRESSFUL.
Included in the stressful events of my day was a trip to the DMV in order to renew my driver’s license.
At the DMV, it seems one is guaranteed to see ALL types of people. People who…
don’t practice proper hygiene (umm…deodorant or toothpaste anyone?),
don’t dress appropriately,
smoke WAY too much,
don’t follow the rules that are posted on every wall (most notably, NO cell phone use past the lobby…),
and people who don’t interact with a complete stranger with the common courtesy that is due to another simply because he/she is a human being.
So, in true awkward-situation-fashion (in which we are all severely lacking in personal space), we mostly sat in silence staring…
at the windows with hideous blue blinds that weren’t even open,
at the uneven industrial white brick walls,
at the exposed wires that looked like they could spark a massive electrical fire if only given the chance,
at the empty desks that made you wonder why there weren’t more officials working,
and at the glaring red numbers counting down to the one on your ticket.
But although no one may have noticed, in my silent staring, I missed an opportunity. An opportunity to be obedient to my calling. An opportunity to get past the smell, to look beyond the inappropriate clothing, and to ignore the rudeness. An opportunity to show interest in, compassion for, and love toward a person. To “one of the least of these.” To someone in need. Of understanding, of healing, of a Savior.
And you know what the worst part of it was? I knew that I was missing an opportunity…and I let it pass anyways. I was already stressed, was feeling anxious about and uncomfortable in my surroundings, was attempting to cherish a few moments of reading a book that wasn’t even that great, and I did NOT feel like interacting. with. a. sole.
If I had opened myself to a conversation with one of the men or women waiting beside me in that room, would it have led to a discussion of the Gospel message of Christ? Not necessarily. But would it have allowed someone else to experience the love of Christ through a simple exchange of thoughtful words? Very likely, yes…even if they were unable to acknowledge it as such.
About an hour and a half after I first entered the line at the DMV, I was out of the building with a temporary license. But I was also out with a missed opportunity to – in the very least – display the character of Christ.
Have you ever been made keenly aware of a missed opportunity to share the love and truth of Jesus Christ with someone else?
If so, I leave you with the same challenge I now face:
Will it make a difference the next time an opportunity is presented?